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Sequim quartet advances to state
MatClassic, the apex of Washington state’s prep wrestling season, is just around the corner.
Four Wolves are about to join the fray.
Three Sequim boys — district champ Dakota Hinton, 138-pounder Luke Mooney and heavyweight Clay Charley — join Sequim’s lone female, freshman Kaylee Ditlefsen, at MatClassic in the Tacoma Dome on Feb. 17-18.
The quartet punched their tickets to state last weekend at regional tournaments in Silverdale and Puyallup.
Hinton, who qualified but didn’t place at MatClassic last year, got three pins in as many matches, with just one match lasting past the second round. He captured the 170-pound weight class title by pinning Travis Morris of White River in just 88 seconds.
“Dakota is really peaking at the right time,” Sequim coach Len Borchers said of his No. 3-ranked senior.
The Sequim coach likes Hinton’s chances of placing well at state.
“The two guys ranked ahead of him (Tyler Coates of Ellensburg, Brock Beeler of Clarkston) are on other side of state,” Borchers said. “He is as well prepared as he can get. He has wrestled up a weight, wrestled at three or four major tournaments, went nose-to-nose with a lot of kids that have been ranked and held his own very well. I don’t see anyone that’s had the depth and breadth of exposure (that Dakota has).”
Mooney, a junior and state participant for the first time, went 3-1 and took third place in his weight class, losing only to district runner-up Maverick Redda of Fife.
“I thought he had a good shot to take third or fourth,” Borchers said of Mooney. “What was impressive is (the matches) were close; he rode well, and when the match was on the line, he’d get a takedown.”
Charley, a senior, earned his first state berth after going 2-2 in his 285-pound weight class, dropping both of his losing matches by a single point. Charley fell 1-0 to Monike Failauga of Fife in the semis, then locked up a state berth with a second period pin of White River’s Justin Nale. Charley fell 4-3 to Michael Myers of Port Angeles in the consolation final and takes a No. 4 seed to state.
“Failauga looks like a Sequoia out there,” Borchers said. “It took a lot out of him. (Clay has) managed to drop three or four matches after getting the lead. He’s got to concentrate in finishing out strong. But he’s wrestling extremely smart.”
Senior Austin Leach, who joined Hinton at 170 pounds, went 2-2 and finished fifth. He’ll be an alternate to state, needing an illness, injury or someone missing weight from his region to participate.
Borchers noted that Leach predominantly wrestled at 182 pounds but that 170 pounds was a better fit for him.
“It’s hard to say looking at that now, at how 182 looks,” Borchers said, referring to the region’s 182-pound participants.
“(Austin was) nursing a sore shoulder and a sore wrist; he didn’t have a best day.”
Sophomore Royhon Agostine finished sixth after dropping his three matches at 106 pounds, including a 17-15 slugfest with White River’s Lucas Doll in the fifth/sixth match.
“Just a great kid; he was in a stacked weight (class),” Borchers said. “He’s a young kid, still growing.”
Another Sequim sophomore, Chris Goettling, dropped both of his regional matches at 220 pounds.
“He came on real strong the last few weeks,” Borchers said. “Hopefully he’ll see what it takes.”
Sequim tied for 10th out of 15 teams at the regional tourney with 68 points.
White River took the team title with 141 team points, followed by Kingston (121.5) and Port Angeles (115.5).
Ditlefsen heads to state
The daughter of two teachers, Ditlefsen, the freshman, already is learning plenty of lessons on the wrestling mat.
Ditlefsen took third overall in the 124-pound weight class at a regional tournament at Emerald Ridge in Tacoma Saturday, earning a spot in the all-classifications, girls-only division at MatClassic.
Ditlefsen lost just one match — a second period pin to eventual district champ Jennifer Anderson of Emerald Ridge — before rebounding with two pins.
Teammate Emily Halverson was 1-2 in the 118-pound weight class at the same tourney, falling three wins short of a state berth.
Reach Michael Dashiell at firstname.lastname@example.org.